Poems for staying at home (Day 30)

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After the weekend, this cow rummages through the debris left by the visiting humans; the remains of campfires, plastic carrier bags, bottles and beer cans. We know, we’ve seen it. Poor cow.   Fabio Morábito reminds us of the sadness in her eyes.

 

Ajusco

Cow, how much sadness
in your eyes now
that it is Monday and the field
is more immense and lonely
and around you shimmer
dirty paper plates
and beer cans.

Slabs of exile
and calm accumulate
in your figure, cow.
You look around
you, then lower your head
to rummage in the trash
like an enormous dog.

The remains of campfires
resemble the marks your teeth made,
not those of the men
who, before leaving,
burned in them plastic cups
and bottles as a last
rite of cohesion.

The fog covers the hill
and encircles you like
the sea a promontory,
and everything is quiet when
your ample motherhood,
of a sudden, claims your calf
amid the mist.

(Translated by Richard Gwyn)

 

Ajusco

Vaca, cuánta tristeza
en tus ojos ahora
que es lunes y el campo
es más inmenso y solo
y en torno a ti pululan
platos de cartón sucios
y latas de cerveza.

Pedazos de destierro
y calma se amontonan
en tu figura, vaca.
Miras alrededor
de ti, luego te agachas
hurgando en la basura
como un enorme perro.

Los restos de fogatas
parecen dentelladas
tuyas, no de los hombres
que incineran en ellas
antes de irse, último
rito de cohesión, vasos
de plástico y botellas.

La niebla cubre el cerro
y te rodea como
el mar a un promontorio,
y todo calla cuando
tu amplia maternidad,
de pronto, reclama entre
la bruma a tu becerro.

 

 

Fabio Morábito was born in Alexandria in 1955 and has lived in Mexico City since the age of fifteen. His award-winning poetry, short stories and essays have established him as one of Mexico’s best-known writers over the past 25 years. He is also a translator from Italian. Much of his work has appeared in translation, to growing international acclaim. Three of his poems appear in The Other Tiger: Recent Poetry from Latin America.

 

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